Managing pollution from rural areas: Using coastal bathing water quality and multiple benefit approaches (green infrastructure and public awareness) to address upstream rural pollution – Hillylaid wetland


The Hillylaid site has been selected for delivery as a demonstration of a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDS).

It is hoped that it will demonstrate the multiple benefits of SuDS, such as the reduction of flood risk and the improvement of habitat in urban areas.  It will ideally be expanded in the future to deliver more benefits. The site is in close proximity to a large number of designated sites under the Natura 2000 legislation. The Wyre Estuary is in receipt of Special Protection Areas (SPA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designations, and this project will support the aims and objectives of these sites through improving biodiversity in an area which has suffered from historical contamination from local sources.

What we are doing

To help reduce this risk, the Wyre Rivers Trust developed a network of wetland sites in the area. Of these sites, the Hillylaid Wetland is the lowest in the Hillylaid Pool catchment. It has been designed to include two wetland cells, one which is optimised for water quality and one which is optimised to reduce flood risk. The trust has also created a small pond to support locally active great crested newt populations (a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Framework) and a number of hibernacula to support amphibians and reptiles that hibernate during the winter months.

Who else is involved?

The Environment Agency, United Utilities, Natural England and Wyre Rivers Trust

Project location

Thornton (north of Blackpool), Lancashire.

Latest Update

Capital works at Hillylaid are complete.  Reed planting is planned for May with Volunteers